Ultra Grid ATX Case

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Product: Ultra Grid Case
Provided By: Ultra Products
Price: ~$132.99 CDN (Tigerdirect.ca)

 

Introduction:

In the world of computer cases, there are a ton of options, there are a lot of great companies producing a ton of great cases, and you can spend as much or as little as you want. Back in the day when BCCHardware first started you had two choices for cases, white or white, and adding a window was something you did out in your workshop, now you can get cases of every color with all sorts of options.

Today we will be taking a look at a case from Ultra Products, we've reviewed other products from Ultra such as the Ultra Chilltec TEC Cooler (Reviewed Here), as well as two UPS's from Ultra (700VA and 850VA, Reviewed Here), but this is the first case we've taken a look at from Ultra Products. This case retails for approximately $132.99 CDN, and also offers a model that comes included with a power supply (the model we are looking at today does not feature a power supply)

Lets see how this case stands up to our testing....

 

First Impressions:

So the box isn't anything too exciting, looks like every other box I've ever seen, its your standard size.... Not much else can be said about the box

 

Grid Box
Ultra Grid Box
Features On The Box
Box (Side)

 

Once I got the Grid out of the box, I was impressed by its looks, its nice and shiny (glossy), which may be fun trying to keep fingerprints off, but I've always liked the black gloss look on a case. Anyways, the front panel is a black metal mesh, and you also note right away that their is a CD-ROM opening in the front panel, so unlike a lot of cases with front panels covering everything, you can open and close 1 CD-ROM drive without having to open the front panel every time, for some people this might be a great feature, because if your case is anything like mine, the front panel is open 95% of the time because I'm constantly putting CD/DVD's in and out.

 

  
Grid ATX - Window Side
Side of Case (Window)
  
Grid ATX Case Side
Side of Case
 
Front Door Open
Front of Case (Panel Open)
 
Outside - Front Back
Front and Rear of Case

 

From the above pictures you can see that its nice and shiny, and has a window, nothing too out of the ordinary, its got more of a sleek look to it.

Lets move on to some close-ups of its features.

 
Front Buttons
Front Buttons
 
USB/Sound Ports
Front USB/Sound Ports

 

Once you open the front panel, you will note that there is a front intake fan, its your standard 120 mm fan. 

 
Front Intake
Front Intake Fan (Outside Case View)
 
Front - Fan Inside
Front Intake Fan (Inside Case View)

 

The pictures below are of the inside of the case, as you can see it looks pretty standard compared to most cases, one thing to note is that all drives are all tool-less, which is always a nice feature.

 

Inside - Front/Back

 

The Ultra Grid case also features tool-less Optical and HDD racks, always a nice feature to be able to slide drives in and out without taking off both sides and having to line up screws, these racks save a fair amount of time during the install.

 

Front - Fan Grill
Rear Fan Grill (Fan not Included)
I/O & Fan Cables 
I/O and Fan Cables

 

Tool-less HDD Rack
Tool-less HDD Rack
Tool-less Drive Array
Tool-less FDD, HDD and ODD Rack

 

As you can see in the picture below, there isn't many accessories included with the case, just some instructions for USB installation and a couple screws for your motherboard, you really don't need anything else with this case since all the drive bays are tool-less

 

Box Of Goodies
Included Accessories

On the next page we'll take a look at the specs of the Ultra Grid ATX Case.


Specifications:

 

Specifications taken from Ultraproducts.com

Strong Steel Construction
The Ultra Grid features an impressive exterior design, implementing a stealth black finish a cool mesh front bezel. The side of the front bezel supports audio input/output jacks as well as two USB ports.The door conceals all but one drive bay, but opening the magnetically latched front door exposes all four 5.25" bays and two 3.5" bays. The interior of the Grid supports full sized ATX, microATX and AT motherboards, has rolled edges and can house up to seven 3.5" (5 internal, 2 internal/external) and four 5.25" drives utilizing a fully tool-less/screw-less mechanism. The side panel features an Intel TAC 1.1 compatible CPU duct and VGA vent. Grid also comes with a front 120MM intake fan and 120MM exhaust fan. As with all Ultra cases, the Grid comes with a three year limited warranty and is easily upgraded to a lifetime warranty with online registration.

 

Features:

Steel Construction - Constructed of high grade Steel, this case provides a solid foundation for your PC.

Liquid Gloss Finish - High Gloss Liquid Gloss Finish will give your computer the sleek design you have been looking for.

Cooling System - With a 120mm intake fan in the front, and a 120mm exhaust fan in the rear, this case provides excellent airflow throughout your case.

Tool-less Drive System - With this tool-less drive system it's simple. Slide the drive in, align the holes, twist the lock, and your done. No tools, no screws, no hassle!

Front Audio/USB Ports - Easy access front ports, featuring USB and Audio will allow you to quickly connect external devices, headphones, or even a microphone.

Swing Out Bezel - The swing out bezel hides all unwanted drive bays and conceals the 120mm intake fan. However, the top drive bay can be accessed without opening the door, allowing the user to install the most used drive for easy access.

CPU Air Duct - Keep the temperature of your CPU down by bringing cool air directly from the outside onto the CPU.

Large Clear Side - Constructed of high grade plexiglass, this large clear side panel will give you the opportunity to show off what your computer is really made of.

 

Specifications:

  • Color: Black w/ Clear Side
  • 12 Drive Bay
    4 - External 5.25"
    2 - External 3.5”
    5 - Internal 3.5”
  • Material: Steel
  • Form Factor:
    - AT
    - Baby AT
    - ATX
    - Micro ATX
  • Expansion Slots: 7 Standard Slots
  • Large Front Panel Grid Vent
  • Case Fans:
    2 - 120mm (Included)
  • Dimensions:
    - Width: 16.75"
    - Height: 7.5"
    - Depth: 19.5”
  • LEDs:
    - Green - Power
    - Orange - Hard Drive Access
  • Switches:
    - Power
    - Reset
  • Front Access USB/ Audio

 

Head on over to the last page as we take a look at system installation and wrap up with our final thoughts.


Test System:

I know I need a new motherboard for my system as that is currently the biggest drawback.  Regardless, it's still a decent system that generates a fair bit of heat and tests the size of a chassis. 

 

Installation:

Installation was pretty straight-forward with the Ultra Grid, everything went in easy and with the tool-less drive bays, its nice and fast too. The case is your standard ATX case, so there isn't going to be any big surprises while installing your system.

This case is like a lot of other Mid-Towers on the market today, and does not offer a lot of room for oversized cards such as the 8800GTX, and when using a card like the 8800GTX your going to end up blocking a couple slots for hard drives, which isn't a problem for most 1-2 hard drive configurations, but if you plan on putting more than 2 in the case, you might be out of luck. This really isn't Ultra fault in any way, since when the case was designed majority of video cards weren't this long and honestly this case probably wasn't marketed towards the high-end consumers, but still, its worth noting if you are considering buying, because no one likes to be surprised while trying to install all your gear into a new case.

cards.JPG
Video Card and Front HDD Rack - Tight Fit....
 

 

As you can see in the below picture, everything installed nice and easy, and I had no issues with the installation. This case is your pretty standard ATX case, and doesn't really have any groundbreaking options.

One other thing to note is the PCI card covers on the back of the case are snap-off (with the exception of the top 2 slots that come with a removable covers that can be easily put back on with a single screw), so if you decide later on that you want to remove a card or two that you've installed, your going to have to find a cover to fill the slot, probably not a huge deal for most consumers, but worthy of noting.

installed.JPG
System Installation - Nice and Easy

 

Conclusion:

Overall this is a very decent case, its got a nice sleek look to it, it doesn't really have any "one-of-a-kind" features but in the world of cases most people aren't looking for that, they just want a case that will do the job, look nice, and not be a huge pain to get everything into, and the Ultra Grid falls into that category.

The features of this case are pretty standard, and didn't really blow me away, but the features it does have (Magnetic front cover, tool-less drive bays) all worked like they were supposed too, the tool-less drive bays aren't the greatest I've ever seen, but they worked as advertised and really save you quite a bit of time when you are installing hard drives and optical drives. I was also impressed at the quietness of the built-in fans, sometimes the standard fans can be rather noisy, but thats not the case at all.

My biggest complaint with the Grid case is that the front panel feels a little bit cheap, the hinges and frame of the front cover are plastic, with a metal front, its not too bad, but just feels like with a bit of wear and tear it might not stand up as well as some other cases on the market. Otherwise I didn't really have any other major complaints about the Grid, its one of those cases that delivers what it advertises, however it really doesn't have any special options, its really your standard ATX case.

One thing we noticed when reviewing this case is that it retails for approximately $132.99 CDN, however you can step up and get this case with a 700 Watt Ultra power supply for pretty much the same price (and actually cheaper on some sites), which quite honestly is totally worth it, and the nice thing is you are getting a decent power supply and not just some generic named power supply, and I'd assume most people would go with the other model to get an included power supply, especially when its practically free.

At the end of the day this is a case marketed towards the value consumer that doesn't want a "generic" case, and if you do a little searching around the internet and find this case with an included power supply (around the same price as without a power supply), it definitely delivers. This case doesn't introduce any new groundbreaking features or options, but overall it does the job and looks very good, and therefore I can see being a great choice for a lot of people looking for a new mid-range case.

 

Pros:

  • Well built, Sturdy Case
  • Very Nice Polished Finish
  • Built-In Fans are Nice and Quiet


Cons:

  • Front Cover is Mainly made of Plastic

 

BCCHardware.com Rating
Quality:
8/10
Performance:
9/10
Software Pack:
N/A
Stability/Durability:
N/A
Features:
8/10
Value:
9/10
Total Score 8.5

 

A big thanks to Ultra Products for sending us out the Grid case to take a look at. If you have any questions or comments regarding this review, please feel free to drop us a line in the forum at the link below.